Moonshine still bust in Alabama

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Moonshine still bust in Alabama

Postby Grayson_Stewart » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:46 pm

This is an article posted in the St. Clair Times, a newspaper in St. Clair County Alabama about a moonshine still found on a tip to local law enforcement.

I sincerely hope the article is incorrect when it paraphrases Lt. Mike Reese of the Alabama Beverage Control Board as stating it is illegal to make beer without the proper licenses.

The article states a child could have become sick or even killed from accidental exposure to moonshine. That has to be some really bad moonshine. I could never get my kid to take Robitussin. If a child drank enough moonshine to become ill or cause death I wouldn't think it would be from "accidental exposure". (Please, no crackpots sending me comments thinking I condone underage drinking.)

But then again, perhaps it really was some bad moonshine because the article estimates that what appears to be a 15 gallon keg in the picture "was capable of making 5 gallons of moonshine"...I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like real deliberate cuts to me.

The article informs us the owners of the still were using a hot plate to operate the still. Longtime readers of this forum know a hot plate doesn't allow you to accurately control the heat input to a still, so let this be a lesson to all of you out there...if you use a hot plate - you will be caught. (My reference to getting caught because of using a hot plate is a joke, if you use a hot plate yourself do not send me hate mail or corrections.)

Last, let me point out this all occurred in the same county in Alabama where paramedics answered an emergency call and arrived on the scene of a young woman who had miscarried twins. The paramedics then flushed the twin still born fetuses down the toilet. No, I'm not kidding...here's the article describing this horrible event. It was adjacent to the article about the raid on the still on the front page of the newspaper.
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Re: Moonshine still bust in Alabama

Postby rubber duck » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:36 pm

If I remember correctly it is illegal to make beer in Alabama.

By the looks of that rig it's probably a good thing they got busted. The scary part about this article is that it seems the the warrant was issued because of the still. In all the small still busts I've seen the still was a after thought, the police went in for something else and found a stillin rig. This seems different.

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Re: Moonshine still bust in Alabama

Postby Dnderhead » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:35 am

13.9% ABV cap on beer
Beer containers may not exceed 16 ounces (0.47 l)
ABV > 14.9% wine sold in state stores
Alcohol may be served 24 hours unless restricted by local ordinances. Twenty-six of Alabama's 67 counties do not allow the sale of alcohol. However, possession and consumption remains legal within those twenty-six counties. Cities with populations greater than 5000 within dry counties can "go wet" if passed by 50% of voters
in those 26 counties you would not be able to make.I would say,
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Re: Moonshine still bust in Alabama

Postby SIXFOOTER » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:56 am

Sounds like a bit of chest thumping by the police. According to the article they were serving a warrent and just found the still and they way over inflated the alcohol content and potential. There was no mention of kids being around so they may have just pulled that comment out of their ass.
All that said, they did get a couple criminals off the street for a while.
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Re: Moonshine still bust in Alabama

Postby Grayson_Stewart » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:02 pm

I did some checking and it is in fact illegal to brew beer in Alabama without a license. In Alabama you can make up to 100 gallons of wine per adult up to 2 adults in a residence if you produce all the fruit on your own property. I think Alabama is one of only two states that do not allow a person to make beer with Mississippi being the other...and if I understand Mississippi is working on amending their policy.

I believe the article stated that a tipster gave the police information about the stills operation and the person operating the still. The police then likely ran a background check and found the two warrants issued for the individual in question. I'm sure this was a case of a disgruntled girlfriend/spouse or someone in the community that had grown weary of having shady neighbors next door.

In any event, it has been stated on the forum countless times...

1.) Don't advertise your existence if you are a distilling hobyist.
2.) Be a good neighbor so you don't give cause for meddling or retribution.
3.) Don't flaunt your hobby on your front porch.
4.) Don't be a braggert and only confide in people that you know you can trust.

Interestingly, there is an entire section in the Alabama Code concerning illicit alcohol production stating how information or equipment gathered without a warrant from entry into private property is inadmisable in court. This is a well known fact by everyone residing in the US and aware of their rights and shouldn't need to be repeated. It's almost as if the writer's of the Code are reminding everyone to just keep down trouble by staying quiet and inside your home.

In my checking on the beer brewing information I did find some interesting facts on the Alabama Beverage Control Board website:

Stills Seized Gallons Seized
2004-2005 16 1274
2005-2006 22 127
2006-2007 85 239

Seems the number of stills seized each year is going up. This could mean the number of careless hobbyists is increasing or that they are actually taking a greater interest in looking for them. And as the number of stills seized increases, it seems the volume of product per seizure is going down. This latter statement of smaller yeilds being seized would infer smaller stills such as the hobbyist uses.
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Re: Moonshine still bust in Alabama

Postby MuleKicker » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:29 pm

So, let me get this straight? you can produce 5 gal of wine per year if you grow the fruit yourself. What if you grow your own grain and produce beer? what is the difference? I thought it was legal to own a still, just not to run alcohol through it? Alabama must have some really tight laws on alcohol.
It is these stories that really hurt our agenda. They made it seem like it was safer to produce meth than moonshine.
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Re: Moonshine still bust in Alabama

Postby LWTCS » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:56 pm

“This is the first time I’ve seen one in operation,” Ward said Thursday. “It makes you think of the olden days when the moon shiners were into it pretty big.”


Read more: stclairtimes - Narcotics officer busts still operation


Oh fer heavens sakes I hope he is not serious with that little pee pee outfit.
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Re: Moonshine still bust in Alabama

Postby rad14701 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:51 am

Alabama Code> Title 28 — INTOXICATING LIQUOR, MALT BEVERAGES AND WINE.> Chapter 1 — GENERAL PROVISIONS.> Section 28-1-1 — Possession of still, etc., or illegally manufactured, transported or imported alcoholic beverages.

In all counties of the state it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to have in his or its possession any still or apparatus to be used for the manufacture of any alcoholic beverage of any kind or any alcoholic beverage of any kind illegally manufactured or transported within the state or imported into the state from any other place without authority of the alcoholic control board of the state, and any person, firm or corporation violating this provision or who transports any illegally manufactured alcoholic beverages or who manufactures illegally any alcoholic beverages shall, upon conviction, be punished as provided by law.

(Acts 1936-37, Ex. Sess., No. 66, p. 40; Code 1940, T. 29, §68.)
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Re: Moonshine still bust in Alabama

Postby ScottishBoy » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:32 am

LWTCS wrote:“This is the first time I’ve seen one in operation,” Ward said Thursday. “It makes you think of the olden days when the moon shiners were into it pretty big.”


Read more: stclairtimes - Narcotics officer busts still operation


Oh fer heavens sakes I hope he is not serious with that little pee pee outfit.


I bet this one gets turned into a "Big Fish" story over the years with his buddies. 15 gallon keg that can make 5 gallons of shine? Now thats a turbo yeast I would like to see.
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